Lemon Posset is a British dessert similar in consistency to a custard/panna cotta or pudding, but much easier with only 3 ingredients (cream, sugar, lemon) and less than 10 minutes of cooking time. It actually originated over 500 years ago during the Middle Ages as a layered milk-based drink formed with eggs and spiced wine, but has evolved over time into the smooth custard/pudding it is today.
The acidity from the lemon juice thickens the sweetened cream and the mixture sets after refrigerating for at least two hours. It is definitely a great choice if you want a custard-like dessert without the eggs, starch thickeners, or gelatin.
Lemon Posset is often served with unsweetened whipped cream and shortbread cookies for dunking to help contrast the tartness of the lemons. I topped the ramekins with fresh blackberries and sliced almonds since I had them on hand for a little added texture.
Very little preparation is involved, but always keep eyes on the pot while the mixture is boiling. It is quick to boil over and make quite the mess.
Do not substitute the heavy cream. Posset needs something with about 35% fat. Products with less are more likely to curdle and lose the smooth texture. Possets made with other citrus such as orange or lime are also popular. The amount of juice added may need to be increased due to the lower acidity compared to lemons. I can’t wait to try this with Meyer lemons next time I come across them.
Adapted from Food52
2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Toasted sliced or chopped nuts
Unsweetened whipped cream
Whisk together the heavy cream and sugar over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Once the mixture comes to a boil, cook for 5 minutes while whisking often. Be careful that the cream doesn’t bubble over the top.
Remove from heat and whisk in the lemon juice. Cool in the pot for 15 minutes before dividing among four ramekins.
Serve with fresh berries, whipped cream, toasted nuts, or shortbread cookies.